Top 10 Best Toaster Ovens of 2021:
- Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Toaster Oven [Overall Top Pick for all Toaster Ovens]
- Luby Extra Large Toaster Oven [Overall Best Large Toaster Oven]
- Oster TSSTTVFDDG-B French Door Toaster Oven [Best Premium Large Toaster Oven]
- BLACK+DECKER TO3250XSB Toaster Oven [Best Budget-Friendly Large Toaster Oven]
- Hamilton Beach 31127D Countertop Toaster Oven [Overall Best Compact Toaster Oven]
- Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven [Best Premium Compact Toaster Oven]
- Westinghouse WTO1010B Countertop Toaster Oven [Best Budget-Friendly Toaster Oven]
- Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro [Overall Best Smart Toaster Oven]
- Tovala Gen 2 Smart Oven [Best Premium Smart Toaster Oven]
- Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven [Best Budget-Friendly Smart Toaster Oven]
We love toaster ovens!
And really, who doesn't? The idea of a miniature oven that can readily make toast is rather appealing, and toaster ovens considered more sophisticated than toasters. Toaster ovens are also multi-functional; that is to say, they do way more than just toast.
They can be used to:
- Dehydrate vegetables and fruits
- Bake dessert pastries
- Roast nuts
- Reheat leftovers
- Roast meats and vegetables
- Bake pizza
And these are all just the tip of the iceberg. You can even get creative and use a toaster oven to do stuff like melt broken crayons into bigger, newer ones. Just don't eat them!
If you are only interested in toasting bread, a toaster oven is still superior in flexibility when compared to toasters.
A quick example is that you can put extra stuff on your toast while it's toasting; you can't do that with a toaster. This gives your toast an extra boost in taste since the flavor from your extra ingredient is actually baked into the toast.
If you are just as hyped about toaster ovens as we are and check out a few, then please take a look at our list of the top 10 best toaster ovens of 2021.
We put a ton of effort into this list, so we hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed making it for you!
#1 - Overall Best Rated Toaster Oven:
Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef's Convection Toaster Oven
The Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef's Convection Toaster Oven tops our list as the #1 best overall choice for a toaster oven.
Its high-quality features, spacious design, and robust digital controls make it a solid pick for anyone’s needs. This toaster uses convection-based heating that lets you not only cook faster but also achieve higher-quality results.
This toaster oven has a capacity of 0.95 cubic feet, which is remarkably large for such an oven. To put it into perspective, you can fit a 13” pizza, a whole chicken, or two pans of cornbread.
As for bread, you can toast up to 9 whole slices at once, saving time on toasting a large batch of bread for family and friends.
The heating system is designed to evenly toast your bread with sharp consistency, giving you the results that you love slice after slice.
You won’t have to worry about uneven toasting, which is a breath of fresh air compared to lackluster toaster ovens.
There are 15 built-in cooking functions that you can choose from. You can tailor your cooking experience to perfection by utilizing these functions with respect to the food that you want to cook, giving you the flexibility to up your cooking game.
To ensure that quality is maintained, there is an exact heat sensor that’s calibrated to settings for each function. The result? Perfectly cooked meals with every use.
And with these settings comes the innovative dual cook and speed convection functions.
The dual cook function will run two different cooking functions at two different temperature levels back to back. We especially like this setting for food that requires top browning or slow-cooking ingredients that need extended cooking time on two cooking settings.
The speed convection function skips the warming phase that normal convection cooking performs and goes right into cooking. This is good for when you short on time and just need something cooked up quickly. Note that the quality may drop slightly due to skipping the warming phase.
Accessories include 2 oven racks, baking/ drip pan, broiling pan, removable crumb tray, 13-inch pizza stone, and a recipe booklet.
By supplying all of these useful accessories, you can save time and money that you otherwise would’ve spent having to look elsewhere for them.
Recent customers have sung their praises as well, claiming that it’s a versatile countertop convection oven that makes terrific 13” pizza.
Some do say that it is a bit on the bulky side and complain that the oven can only adjust the temperature in 25-degree increments. Most claim that it’s worth every penny.
And from what we've seen, we side with the majority opinion. There are many reasons why this toaster oven stands as an "Amazon Choice" product.
So if you are looking for a large toaster oven that performs at a high quality for both beginners and experts alike, then we recommend checking out the Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef's Convection Toaster Oven.
#2 - Overall Best Large Toaster Oven:
Luby Extra Large Toaster Oven
If there’s one thing that the Luby Extra Large Toaster Oven doesn’t lack, it’s space!
The internal space of this countertop oven clicks in at a 55 Liters (roughly 1.94 cubic feet). That’s enough space to toast 18 slices of bread, bake a 14” pizza, roast a 20-lb turkey, cook tenderloin, bake a delicious cake, and so much more.
Having so much space is a huge time saver for people who are cooking for large groups, social events, or just like having leftovers.
But that’s not all this behemoth of a toaster oven has to offer.
The door doesn’t pull down like a typical toaster oven door but is instead designed like a French door where it pulls out to the side. Because of this design, you save on countertop space. Operation is also more convenient and safer; it’s easier to close the doors without accidentally touching the inner part.
Now normally large toaster ovens struggle to heat properly due to their size, but this one solves that problem in a clever way. It’s heated quickly and evenly by way of four separate heating tubes that constantly pump in hot air from all angles, creating a layer of heat that circulates throughout the interior.
But if you want to cook two different dishes at once, you can also do that too! The upper and lower racks can be cooked at different temperatures for different foods, though you’ll have to keep in mind that some overlap will occur (not recommended for dishes that are sensitive to small changes in temperature).
By using this feature, you can cut hours off your total cooking time and enjoy your food sooner.
Controls are handled through eat-to-turn knobs that you can twist to select different settings. You can fine-tune your settings through these knobs and create a heating chamber that matches your exact desires.
There is a timer that goes up to 60 minutes, giving you the ease of mind to set the appropriate amount of cooking time without using external devices. There’s also an auto-shutoff/signal bell that immediately shuts off the oven after the timer expires, meaning no more forgotten food that ends up overcooked.
Accessories include a bake tray handle, bake tray, and a wire rack.
Customer reviews have been stellar as well. Many take note of its sheer size being a huge boon, highlighting the fact that it’s a blessing for those who have a family or are interesting in cooking whole meats.
So if you want a large toaster oven that is well-favored, has a unique door design, and makes cooking large amounts of food quick and easy, then we recommend checking out the Luby Extra Large Toaster Oven.
#3 - Best Premium Large Toaster Oven:
Oster TSSTTVFDDG-B French Door Toaster Oven
The Oster TSSTTVFDDG-B French Door Toaster Oven definitely gives you a great amount of bang for your buck. It’s a convection toaster oven with a variety of settings and space that lets you cook up dishes that you otherwise could not.
Let’s talk about capacity. This toaster oven has an extra-large capacity that can fit up to 2 large pizza, whole meats with veggies, casserole, or 18 slices of bread. That’s just a ton of room that you can easily use to cook up a plethora of dishes.
There are 8 different cooking settings that you can use: toast, bake, broil, pizza, warm, defrost, and dehydrate. These settings are pretty standard but still very useful for a lot of the common foods.
We think that the “dehydrate” setting deserves a special mention, however. Not many toaster ovens have the ability to dehydrate your food. This is done by slowly cooking your food at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 6 hours.
You can dehydrate and rehydrate food that you take on long trips or use it to make jerky from various meats. Dehydrators are separate appliances that can cost well over $150+ on their own, so this extra setting offers a ton of value!
This toaster oven utilizes a French door design and has a brushed stainless steel exterior. A single door pull will open both doors, which frees up your other hand to handle ingredients with no worries.
The sleek appearance makes it an easy fit in most kitchens as well, combining elegance with convenience while cooking.
You can set a timer that goes up to 90 minutes. This timer will automatically turn the oven off once it expires while providing a signal that notifies you of its completion. Cook with the peace of mind that you won’t need to keep the cooking time in the back of your head.
Accessories include 2 racks and a durable baking pan. There’s also a removable crumb tray that makes clean up super easy.
Recent customers have agreed that this toaster oven is amazing, emphasizing how beautiful it looks it the kitchen and how spacious the interior cooking chamber is.
Common complaints include noticing hot spots located in a few spots on the toaster oven and needing substantial countertop space to effectively use the toaster oven. We agree with these points but know that the positives far outweigh the negatives
So if you are looking to splurge on a huge toaster oven that comes equipped with high-value features, then we recommend checking out the Oster TSSTTVFDDG-B French Door Toaster Oven.
#4 - Best Budget-Friendly Large Toaster Oven:
BLACK+DECKER TO3250XSB Extra Wide Toaster Oven
Want to get a large toaster oven but don’t want to break the bank? Then the BLACK+DECKER TO3250XSB Extra Wide Toaster Oven is the right pick for you. It’s a convection heated toaster oven, meaning that you are guaranteed fast and even baking thanks to warm air circulation.
While not as large as the other big toaster ovens on our list, this toaster oven still boasts an impressive capacity. You can fit 8 slices of bread or a whole 12” pizza without any trouble, which is more than enough space to quickly feed a lot of people.
This toaster oven uses knobs to control all of the different settings including baking, broiling, toasting and keeping food warm.
We especially like the keep warm setting for those times when your food is done but you want it to keep warm until you can get to it. Toast loses its heat within seconds, so it’s nice to have a guarantee of warm toast.
Apart from these settings, you can also control the temperature up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you a wide temperature range to cook with for a variety of dishes.
But according to the manufacturer, these temperatures will actually be lower than your set point.
This is due to “advance heating elements”, but we think that this isn’t all that great for temperature-sensitive recipes, especially since you won’t know by how much the temperature will be lowered.
For recipes that don’t call specific temperatures, then this isn’t as big of an issue.
Going back to the toaster oven specs, there are two timers: a toaster timer and a 60-minute timer.
The toaster timer is designed to make perfect toast with a high level of consistency and does this job well. You’ll be able to customize the shade level based on how long you set the timer.
You can get it to the perfect length of time and never have to mess with it again, saving you time and eliminating potential headaches.
The 60-minute timer features stay-on functionality that helps you with longer baking tasks. You’ll have to keep within earshot of the timer when it goes off since this model doesn’t have an auto-shutoff feature.
There are no accessories that come with this toaster oven, but it’s fairly compatible with most oven pans that you probably already have. If you have the standard 9”x13” oven pan or smaller, then it’ll definitely fit and function well.
Recent customers have left glowing reviews for this product, claiming that its beautiful, efficient, and pretty large on the inside. It’s also demonstrated to be durable, as one reviewer stated that it worked like new even after a year later of daily use.
So if you are looking for a large toaster oven that’s simpler yet more affordable, then we recommend checking out the BLACK+DECKER TO3250XSB Extra Wide Toaster Oven.
#5 - Overall Best Compact Toaster Oven:
Hamilton Beach 31127D Countertop Toaster Oven
Live in an apartment, college dorm, or somewhere else that doesn’t afford much space to cook with? Then you are going to need appliances like the Hamilton Beach 31127D Countertop Toaster Oven.
This compact toaster oven comes with a few quality-of-life bonuses alongside excellent performance qualities, which are a couple of reasons why it’s our top pick for this category.
The first thing that stood out to us was the Roll Top Door. This door moves up instead of the tradition down or to the side, which provides you safe and easy access to your food before, during, and after cooking.
For us, the best part is the fact that this design reduces the amount of space this toaster oven could be taking up, leaving you more room for other appliances and cooking tools.
That’s not all, though. While the toaster oven is “compact”, it’s by no means tiny. It can fit up to 6 slices of bread and bake a 12” pizza with ease.
Any baking pan that is at most 9”x11” will also fit inside and work just as well as if it were being used in a normal oven. If you don’t have one, no worries; a baking pan comes included.
This toaster oven comes with 3 cooking settings: bake, broil, and toast. These are pretty basic but effective.
Everything is controlled through knobs. These knobs have been newly contoured, giving them a bit of a plastic outer coating that makes everything easier to maneuver and safer.
There is also a 30-minute timer that comes with an auto-shutoff setting and a “stay on” setting.
Recent customers seem to enjoy model, commenting on how its quick, simple, and easy to use. One even stated that it’s perfect for someone cooking for one or two.
So if you are looking for a simple, but amazing compact toaster oven, then considering checking out the Hamilton Beach 31127D Countertop Toaster Oven.
#6 - Best Premium Compact Toaster Oven:
Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
The Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven an appliance that is jam-packed with features and settings that set it apart from the rest of the pack.
Unlike most toaster ovens that use convection heating, this one opts to use double infrared heating. Quartz and ceramic infrared heating elements are carefully placed in the front and back of the interior heating chamber.
This allows you to instantly start heating your food without having to wait for any preheating, saving you minutes of time with each use.
Double infrared heating also has the advantage of great efficiency when cooking both the outside and inside of your food. A cheese and ham sandwich, for example, will be more evenly cooked through infrared heating than with convection heating.
As for toasting, the result is the same as with convection heating. You’ll get evenly toasted bread every time. As for the shade, you can control whether you want it to be light, medium, or dark.
We recommend that experiment with each option as what is light for you might not be what is light for the appliance.
This toaster oven can fit up to 4 slices of bread or a 9” pizza, which is good for personal meals or snacks.
As for heating, it can reach a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 100 degrees higher than your typical compact toaster oven. It can also go as low as 250 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you a wide range of temperature options to choose from.
There are 6 pre-set cooking options that you can choose from: toast, quick reheat, frozen pizza, frozen waffles, frozen hash browns, and reheat rolls.
You’ll probably get the most mileage out of the “toast” and “frozen pizza” settings, but there is a lot of value within the other ones too. “Reheat rolls” is especially useful for properly reheating rolls since microwaved rolls tend to lack good texture.
Let’s switch to the design of the toaster oven.
There is a see-through glass door that offers a window into the heating chamber. This allows you to monitor your food closely without having to open the door and mess with the built-up heat.
The door is also connected to the baking rack and will pull out the rack whenever it’s opened, making it easy to safely load your food.
There is also an interior light that will illuminate the contents of whatever is in the heating chamber, improving visibility and making visual monitoring possible with just a glance.
The whole toaster oven is designed to be clean and compact so that it can complement any kitchen décor without taking up much space on your countertop.
This makes it a solid choice for apartments, college dorm rooms, and other spaces lacking in ample countertop space.
Accessories include a square-shaped inner baking tray and removable crumb trays.
Recent customer reviews have been overall very positive. One remarked that the toaster oven “toasts like a toaster oven at the speed of a microwave” and many others have stated similar praise.
Complaints have stated issues with customer service, but very few had issues with the toaster oven itself. Its quality speaks for itself.
So if you are looking for a high-end toaster oven that can quickly prepare food using state-of-the-art heating mechanisms, then we recommend checking out the Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven.
#7 - Best Budget-Friendly Compact Toaster Oven:
Westinghouse Select Series WTO1010B Countertop Toaster Oven
Westinghouse Select Series WTO1010B Countertop Toaster Oven is a great budget-friendly, compact toaster oven that values simplicity over fancy features.
This toaster oven has a capacity of 4 slices of bread, totally around 0.9 liters in volume. While that may not seem like much, it’s actually a surprising amount of space.
You can load up a package of chicken nuggets running out of space and still have some rack space left, for example.
The temperature range for this toaster oven is pretty good, ranging from 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. You can make a ton of unique meals and dishes without being limited by a smaller range.
This wide range also gives you the ability to customize and fine-tune your recipes with greater precision.
And with that temperature range comes 3 different cooking options: bake, broil, and toast. This is pretty much the bare minimum that a toaster oven can get away with in terms of what it can cook, but there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.
It’s simple and efficient, which in turn makes it easy to use and great for beginners.
There is a 30-minute timer that will sound a “DING!” when the timer expires. This will also trigger the oven to automatically shut off. You won’t have to worry about being preoccupied when the timer goes off and having to stop what you are doing to address it. You can just set and forget.
Just know that the timer will make a clicking sound until it’s finished, which can be a bit annoying for those sensitive to repetitive sounds.
Both the temperature and the timer are controlled with knobs that you twist to set. There is no dedicated start and stop button; once you set it, it’ll automatically turn on and turn off when complete.
You can also take advantage of the full-view glass door. Its see-through design makes monitoring your food easy to do without needing to actually open the door. Opening the door lets out heat and can negatively affect whatever is cooking in there, so it’s best to observe from the outside until completion.
The door and handle are both cool to touch at all times so that you don’t have to worry about any unexpected heat spots ruining your day.
Recent customers have stated that a good value for the price.
Common praises include “affordable toaster oven”, “easy to clean”, and “easy to use”.
Some complaints include “clicking noise with timer”, “easily burns bread”, and “super short cord”.
So if you are looking for a budget-friendly toaster oven that’s great for small cooking tasks and doesn’t take up much countertop space, then we recommend the Westinghouse Select Series WTO1010B Countertop Toaster Oven.
#8 - Overall Best Smart Toaster Oven:
Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro
You might be surprised to see that smart toaster ovens even exist! As technology advances, you should definitely expect to see some exciting upgrades to traditional toaster ovens. And the overall best one, in our humble opinion, is the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro.
This toaster oven has a capacity for 6 slices of bread or a 13” pizza, which is large enough to cook food for up to six people. This makes it great for families in particular since you can cook food without running out of space.
The heating for this toaster oven is convection-based, meaning that a built-in fan circulates all of the hot air within the oven. This both strips away any cold air that surrounds your food and speeds up the cooking process.
This means you don’t have to wait long to enjoy food that is thoroughly cooked (no weird cold spots).
The walls on the inside of the oven are made with a non-stick coating. This coating makes for easy cleaning since any crumbs or other messes can be wiped up without the need to scrub with soap and water.
All you need is a damp cloth and a few seconds of time.
Now for the good stuff. This toaster oven uses something called “Smart Element iQ”. This system transfers heat across 5 quartz elements. This results in stable and very precise heating, resulting in food that is perfectly prepared each and every time.
This system also generates heat incredibly quickly with 1800W of performance power, getting your food on the table that much faster.
There are 10 (yes, 10!) different cooking options that you can choose from: toast, bagel, bake, roast, grill, pizza, cookies, roast, reheat, keep warm, and slow cook.
These aren’t just options that are tacked on for the sake of promotion either; each one is specifically tailored to match the temperature and heating method to the appropriate food.
Our favorite setting would have to be the slow cook one. There are days that your meals will call for tenderness and complex flavors, which can only be achieved by through slow cooking.
The slow cooking setting will cook at low temperatures for a long period of time. How long? Up to 10 hours!
After 10 hours, the slow cook setting will automatically transition to a “keep warm” setting so that your food doesn’t get cold if you aren’t immediately around to grab it. This allows you to start easy slow-cook dinners in the morning to enjoy in the evening.
You can access these cooking options, along with the temperature and cooking time, through the dedicated LCD display. This display easy to navigate and use; just use the “function” knob to select the option and press the “start/stop” button to begin.
Who said technology had to be complicated?
Recent customers have had a very positive experience with this toaster oven.
Common praises highlighted its versatility and heating ability.
Complaints include loud noises while baking and unexpected trouble during operation, though these instances seem to be specific to the customer's particular model and not representative of the product as a whole.
So if you are looking for a more advanced toaster oven that offers plenty of settings and performance power, then we recommend checking out the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro.
#9 - Best Premium Smart Toaster Oven:
Tovala Gen 2 Smart Oven
The Tovala Gen 2 Smart Oven is so much more than just a toaster oven. It has a variety of features and settings that rival even that of traditional ovens, making the higher price point worth it to those who are serious about getting the most out of a toaster oven.
This toaster oven comes with 5 cooking modes: steam, bake, broil, reheat, and toast. This is actually a fairly small pool of options when compared to other toaster ovens on the market, but don’t be fooled.
This toaster oven prioritizes high-quality results above the number of features; what it can do, it does extremely well. You can expect a perfectly cooked meal with each use.
You can even control it without ever having to touch a knob! It’s compatible with smartphones and can be operated through its own app. Set the cook mode and time from your phone and watch as the oven does all of the cooking for you.
You can monitor the progress and be notified of completion all through the app, giving you an unparalleled level of freedom and flexibility both in and out of the kitchen.
The marvels of technology don’t stop there, either! You can scan barcoded groceries and cook them with no other prep required. This feature is currently only compatible with Trader Joe’s frozen foods, but additional dishes will become available over time.
If you really want to go all out and make cooking stupid simple, you could also purchase a subscription to Tovala meals ($11.99 per meal) as they are designed to be cooked to perfection with this oven.
We can’t speak for the quality of these meals, however, so we recommend doing the research before purchasing these meals.
The temperature range for this oven is 225 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a pretty standard range that holds up when compared to other toaster ovens.
We found the heating systems to be particularly useful. Unlike most toaster ovens that only used convection heat (dry heat), this one uses both convection heat (dry heat) and steam heat (wet heat).
For dishes that benefit from retaining/locking in moisture (vegetables, meat, etc.), the steam mode is a blessing.
Accessories include a sheet tray, measuring cup, hot pad, drain tray, crumb tray, steamer cover, oven rack, recipe cards, and a quick start guide. Having so many accessories included means that you save time and money that you would've had to spend acquiring them separately.
You’ll also gain access to an exclusive library of chef’s recipes that allow you to recreate meals developed by a chef in your own kitchen. These recipes are presented in a step-by-step fashion so that it’s easy to follow even for beginners.
Recent customer reviews have been stellar (almost all 5 stars!).
Common praises highlight the oven’s ease of use, convenience, ability to save time, and cooking ability with a variety of dishes. One particularly elated customer claimed that this oven is a “sanity-saver” for people with children.
Common complaints include the oven’s dependency on WiFi and its occasional struggle with reading barcoded products. However, you can turn the WiFi off and operate it manually if you so desire.
So if you are looking for a high-end smart toaster oven that’s WiFi/smartphone compatible, then we recommend checking out the Tovala Gen 2 Smart Oven.
#10 - Best Budget-Friendly Smart Toaster Oven:
Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven
Normally, the words “budget-friendly” and “smart-tech” don’t go together. But for the Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven, you won’t find a better introduction into the world of smart toaster ovens at a comparatively reasonable price.
This smart oven shares a lot of the same features and settings that our #1 pick for smart ovens has (makes sense, considering they are made by the same company).
But it trades out a few of the features and cuts back on the size for a lower cost, making it a better pick for people who balk at spending tons of money for a toaster oven.
But there is one feature that couldn’t be left out, it would be the smart element IQ.
In case you missed it, smart heat element IQ intelligently transfers heat across the 4 quartz elements during operation. This stabilizes heat and makes cooking precise, giving you amazing results with each use.
1800 Watts performance power guarantees that the preheating and cooking steps get done with lightning speed, which in turn gets food onto the table faster. Less waiting and more eating!
There are 8 different cooking functions to choose from: bagel, toast, bake, pizza, roast, cookies, reheat, and broil. More settings = more options = more ways to enjoy your food.
And while there may be the word “Mini” in the name of the product, don’t think that this is a teeny-tiny toaster oven. You can fit 4 slices of average-sized bread or an 11” pizza with ease, which is about the size of your standard compact toaster oven.
The non-stick cavity coating makes for easy cleaning. Food almost never sticks to the interior walls and can be easily wiped up with just a damp cloth. No scrubbing required.
Cooking settings can be controlled with a knob and specific settings like the number of slices of bread, the shade of darkness, the temperature, and the timer can be controlled with up/down arrows.
The specific settings are displayed on a backlit LCD display for easy visual use. Once an entire cooking cycle is complete, the entire will glow blue to signal that it’s done (it’ll also automatically shut off).
Recent customers have had a mostly positive experience.
Common praises highlight the oven’s ability to evenly heat hoot, provide powerful heating performance, and ease of cleaning.
Common complaints include the rack that is slides out too easily and a learning curve on using the some of the cooking settings.
So if you are looking for a good way to experience a smart toaster oven without breaking the bank, then we recommend checking out the Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven.
What to Look For When Picking a Toaster Oven:
There are a lot of options for toaster ovens out there. When you take a look at them all, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the plethora of settings, features, and extra bells-n-whistles that every supplier seems to be offering.
The last thing that you want to do is get a toaster oven that doesn't best fit your needs. That'll only lead to frustration, wasted time, and wasted money.
So in order to make the selection process quick, easy, and useful, we created this handy list of a few points determines which toaster oven is the best fit for you.
Size & Space Capacity
The first thing that you absolutely need to be aware of is that size and capacity of a toaster oven. And remember that just because the toaster oven looks big on the outside, that doesn't mean that it can hold a lot of stuff on the inside.
Capacity is usually documented on the product page and is addressed in terms of "# of slices". A small/compact toaster oven might only be able to hold 2 to 4 slices of bread, while an extra large/wide toaster oven can hold 10 or even 18 slices at once.
Something to note regarding larger toaster ovens is that they often come equipped with extra features. These features allow you to treat your toaster oven as a regular oven as long as it can fit. When looking at these models, try to find a picture or look at the specs to determine how large the interior is.
If you plan on using a toaster oven for mostly personal use, then you won't necessarily need a larger one. If you plan using your toaster oven for a family or want to take advantage of the size to cook meat and veggies, then you are definitely going to be happier with a bigger one.
Bottom line: match the size to your preference.
- Small (2 slices) - Average Size (4 slices) = personal toasting/baking of bread and other small food.
- Large/Extra Wide Size (8+ slices) = toasting/baking/cooking for large groups and other large food.
You are going to want a toaster oven with some power behind it. Remember that while you can turn down a high-powered appliance, you can't turn up a low-powered one.
Mostly toaster ovens will operate well for general use, but some can toast/bake with more intensity in a shorter amount of time. For recipes that call for more aggressive heating, it's crucial to have a toaster oven that can reach those levels of heat quickly.
A good benchmark to go for would be 1500 - 1800 Watts, as that will give the toaster oven more than enough power to heat up all the common foods.
If we could all get the fanciest, most amazing toaster oven, we would. But we recognize that cost is an important factor to consider.
There's no sense in purchasing a toaster oven at a price of hundreds of dollars if you just plan on occasionally toasting bread. You and your wallet would be happier getting a more basic toaster oven for a lower cost.
On the other hand, we don't recommend pinching pennies when looking for high-quality toaster ovens that can fill the role of multiple appliances. Doing so can lead to a host of big problems down the road, so don't be afraid to invest in quality.
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. So make sure that your expectations match your budget!
Basic & Specialty Features
Features are fun in toaster ovens.
When looking at toaster ovens, consider the features that they come with. You should expect some basic ones like temperature control, start/stop controls, and timers.
But also take a look at any additional specialty features. These are things like cooking functions, auto-shut off, digital operation, tech-integrated software that works through apps, and more.
The more features the toaster oven has, the more it can do. In turn, this means more options for you to play and experiment with.
Just kind in mind that the more features a toaster oven has, the more expensive it usually is. So balance the number of features with how many you actually plan to use.
You might not think about it initially, but accessories can be an important part of a toaster oven's operation.
Take a baking pan for example. Obviously, a large baking pan used for a traditional oven is not going to fit into a toaster oven. Many toaster ovens come with baking pans as an additional accessory, but these baking pans wildly vary in quality.
And if the baking pan is bad, don't expect it to last you a very long time. Reviews from other customers are the best way to determine if the baking pan of any quality. Consider picking up a separate pan if this is the case.
If you just plan on using the racks to toast your bread, then you probably won't have to worry about a baking pan. But for meats, veggies, and pastries, you are definitely going to need a baking pan.
You wouldn't cook those foods on the racks of a traditional oven, would you? We didn't think so.
And that's the end of our list! We hope that you enjoyed it and found it useful!
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Until next time~
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a toaster oven and a microwave?
They use completely different heating mechanisms.
Toaster ovens function like a hybrid between a toaster and an oven (hence the name). As such, they can also be used to cook stuff like meat, veggies, and bake anything that can be baked in a traditional oven. Think hot heat that is circulated by a built-in fan.
Microwaves use, well, micro-waves to heat your food. Most microwaves will spin your food on a built-in plate so that these waves can penetrate the food from all angles, exciting the atoms within and thus generating heat from the inside out.
If you want to reheat food and retain their original texture/taste, then a toaster oven will usually give you better results even though it takes longer. They are a popular pick for reheating pizza, for example.
If you want to quickly heat your food, a microwave will do it much quicker. But reheated food tends to taste a bit off when heated by a microwave according to many, many people.
can i defrost food in a toaster oven?
You can if the toaster oven in question has a defrost feature.
Otherwise, you risk cooking the food as it's defrosting, which can negatively impact the texture and flavor.
can i use a toaster oven for recipes that call for a traditional oven?
As long as the portion sizes of your ingredients are adjusted to a toaster oven, you certainly can.
The bigger the toaster oven, the better the results. This is because larger toaster ovens often come equipped with features designed to work with traditional oven recipes.
will the baking sheets for my large oven work for my toaster oven?
As long as it's fits, you can use it. But unless it's super small, chances are it won't fit.
What's the difference between a toaster oven and a convection oven?
Toaster ovens are almost always convection ovens, but convection ovens don't have to be a toaster oven. The difference between the two isn't much, to be honest, but there are some distinctions that can be made.
Toaster ovens are generally referred to as countertop ovens. This is because they are usually used to make toast, but nowadays they can fulfill a large number of roles. These ovens typically used convection heating to cook/toast food.
A convection oven can be small like a toaster oven or large like a traditional oven. They are used to cook a wide variety of dishes, but are not usually used toast bread due to their size (the racks can be too big and cleaning up the crumbs is a pain). Large convection ovens are also usually more powerful than their toaster oven counterpart.
In theory, a toaster oven can cook anything a convection oven can and vice-versa. Some dishes are easier to cook/will cook better in one or the other, however.
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